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|KXG's GF-4 driver has four ports for weights that can be moved only by a trained club-fitter. (Courtesy KZG)|
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Ever since TaylorMade introduced moveable weights to the mass market (patents for similar designs have been around for almost 100 years), it seems everyone has a new take on adjusting a golf club to fit the player's swing.
Does she slice a bit? Move the weights and produce a draw bias. Does he hook it regularly? Reverse the weights and produce a fade bias.
Callaway's take on weighting schemes seems profit-driven: If you want different biases, you need multiple drivers, as the weighting is all internal to the clubhead.
The TaylorMade and Adams versions are arguably gimmicky - they include a wrench so you can fiddle to your heart's content. Just don't do it during a round, or you're breaking the rules of golf. (I wonder if Michelle Wie knows this rule; she seems to know so very few.)
KZ Golf (aka KZG) has yet another take on moveable weights. In its new GF-4 driver, four weights screw into ports located on the back perimeter of the clubhead. The GF-4 is actually very similar in appearance to the TaylorMade r7 425, but KZG doesn't send along a wrench; these weights can only be moved by a trained club-fitter.
According to Jonathan Abrahams, former media liaison for KZG, "The whole idea is to leave the club-fitting in the hands of the experts."
This may seem a tad paternalistic, but it has its merits. Once a club-fitter has watched you swing and taken measurements of your angle of approach and ball flight, you can feel confident that the weights are going to be positioned the best way for you. No second-guessing.
The GF-4's 425cc clubhead is smaller than that of the TaylorMade r7 460cc and the Adams Dual 460cc drivers, both of which also have four weight ports. On days when I was swinging well, I hit as far with the GF-4 as with the bigger drivers in my bag, and the control was very good. On days I wasn't swinging so well, I felt as though I was not able to quite wring as much distance out of this club as some others.
To fairly judge the neutral-biased GF-4, I needed a real player who could consistently put a decent swing on the ball. I found Andrew Hollingworth, a former 2-handicapper from Iowa, who was just about to tee off at the TPC at Deere Run in Illinois.
I handed him the driver and he split the middle of the first fairway to the tune of about 280 yards. Then he continued around the PGA Tour-quality track, nailing drive after drive, missing only a handful of fairways.
After posting an 82, Hollingworth couldn't say enough good things about the GF-4.
"It wasn't so much the distance, although that was certainly not bad," he said. "It was the control. It just went wherever I aimed. I was able to work the ball right to left, left to right, and straight."
Hollingworth's old driver was an SMT Spectrum, which he always found long enough but not as consistent in terms of control. I say his "old" driver because it was, ultimately, impossible to wrest the GF-4 from his hands.
So if you see a low-handicapper with a silky-smooth swing wandering around Iowa and grinning as he finds fairway after fairway, tell him I want that club back.
The KZG GF-4 is smaller than some other moveable-weight drivers, and less forgiving on off-center hits. But for players whose solid swings provide plenty of distance as it is, this driver can offer an enormous boost in control. If adjusted by a KZG club-fitter, the weighting scheme can help overcome swing tendencies that threaten consistency.
The standard shaft is the NovaTech 6500, a proprietary shaft designed in-house by KZG, which is getting its fair share of recognition from club-builders nationwide as a high-quality, lower-priced alternative to some of the big-name, high-rent shafts on the market.
The GF-4 lists at $469, so it definitely qualifies as a high-end driver. Depending on where you buy it, though, you might be able to arrange for a discount on a custom fitting, or at least a free adjustment in the weights, if you already know which bias suits your swing.
For more information on the GF-4 visit www.kzgolf.com.
October 5, 2006
Kiel Christianson has lived, worked, traveled and golfed extensively on three continents. As senior writer and equipment editor for WorldGolf.com, he has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland, including his home course, Lake of the Woods G.C. in Mahomet, Illinois. Read his golf blog here.
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